My neighbor, Rita, died about six months ago in August 2010. We had just returned home after dropping our eldest son, Justin, off at college. The news was upsetting because I had just seen Rita two days before, getting into her car and waving at me. Life sneaks up on you sometimes, that's the beauty of it.We attended her memorial service and I have to say it was one of the most endearing tributes to a lady who devoted her life to her family. The stories of her relationship with her husband, Frank, made me laugh and cry. I didn't realize that they grew up together and were married for over 60 years. They stayed together through thick and thin and you could tell that they still revered, respected, and loved each other well into their eighties. I only knew Rita for about eleven years. But, I realize now, the short time we did spend chatting over the years were of great purpose and meaning to me.
I saw the movie, "Blue Valentine" yesterday. Let's just say it is not a movie you would watch with a new or prospective mate and I doubt it will put many folks in the mood for love. The movie does bring perspective for those of us who've been married for a while. It reminds us how at the beginning, when love is fresh and new, we can oversee potential future bumps in our own love story. It reminds us that love can leave us 'blind' in the moments where passion takes over. It also leaves us with the age-old question, "Is Love Enough?".
I just finished reading Rhonda Byrne's follow-up book to The Secret called, The Power. The message I took away from this book is that we are responsible for our own lives. We have the power of our thoughts to create and imagine our lives the way we want them to be. It is with love and positivity that we can tip the scales in our favor and enjoy our 'ideal' life. We must believe that all things are possible through Love. The Power gave me a new perspective on what happens to us after we die and helped calm my fear of no longer existing. It explains why, at random moments during the day, I still think of friends and family who have passed. It gives me hope that our love and energy carries on for eternity.
About a month ago, when my husband and I weren't really getting along, I asked him, "Do you think we'll be together until we die like Frank and Rita?". He replied, "Yes. I never really thought of not being with you.". I was surprised by his quick response. There was never a doubt with my husband. Yet, over the last couple of years, I've wondered what it would be like to be without my husband. To be alone and on my own. In my visions, I was very introspective and contemplative. I watched the sunsets alone. I listened to the waves and seagulls alone. My home was filled with my paintings that I created and were hung on the walls willy-nilly and however I saw fit. There was a sense of freedom with this vision but there was no warmth, only cool.
Last night while we were in bed David kept looking at me and I said, "Stop looking at my ugly fat face." He said, "You're still pretty to me."
Today, I wonder if I had grown up in a household where my parents professed their love for each other blatantly and genuinely not only to each other but to me and my brother, how would it have changed the person I am today? I immediately realize that it is a moot point. You just can't change the past. Everything happens for a reason. The fact that I grew up with parents who rarely if ever said they loved me IS the reason why I am who I am today.
When I first fell in love with my husband, David, it was because he made me laugh, smile, and made me feel that I was worthy of being loved. I loved him because I felt he was such a special person and deserved to be loved, cared for, and nurtured. We had nothing at the time. We were both unemployed and unsure of our careers and future. But, we had each other. We were supportive of each other. We grew together over the last 21 years and eight days since our first date.
Today, I realize that it is so much easier to love others when you love yourself. It begins with YOU!